In preparation for a nine-month rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cased its colors Tuesday morning on Cooper Field.
“Blackjacks are no stranger to deployment,” Col. Jeremy Wilson, commander of the Blackjack Brigade, said. “The team standing before you today is ready to answer the call once again.”
Wilson joined Command Sgt. Maj. Alexander Yazzie, the Blackjack Brigade’s senior enlisted advisor, on the field for the ceremonial casing of the colors. The command team carefully furled the unit colors, which will be unfurled downrange, signifying the commander is there.
Throughout history, the unit’s colors follow the commander into battle, with the casing symbolizing the commander’s absence from the installation. The ceremonial casing of the colors is traditionally done when units are being deactivated or deployed.
Wilson said the Soldiers in the unit completed an intense training program in preparation for the deployment, validated their lethality at the National Training Center and are currently in the process of deploying personnel and equipment to multiple locations throughout the European theater of operations in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
“They will continue to increase their lethality in an effort to deter further aggression in the region, while reassuring our NATO partners and allies,” Wilson said.
The storied history of the Blackjack Brigade began in 1917, when the unit patrolled the U.S.-Mexican border. The brigade participated in several Pacific campaigns during World War II. As the decades progressed, the unit would deploy in support of the Korean War effort and Vietnam.
The Blackjack Brigade was the first to launch a ground strike into Iraq during Operation Knight Strike during Operation Desert Storm. The brigade also spearheaded the 1st Cav. Div.’s deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2004. Since then, the unit has supported efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Blackjacks facilitated Iraq’s historic election process and began the process of transitioning combat troops out of Iraq.
The unit will be deploying troops over the next few weeks for their nine-month rotation. Thanking the troops for their hard work throughout the pre-deployment training, Wilson said, “You represent everything great about our Army and our country.”